Natural Hair 101: Natural Hair Care Tips for the Beginner
So you’ve made the decision to go natural…or you’re thinking about it, and you’re on the cusp of making a final decision. You think to yourself, where do I start? What does all the natural hair lingo mean? What are my go-to resources for what to know and how to begin? Well, I got you covered!
Where to start?
When most people decide to grow out their natural hair, it’s usually one of two methods the big chop or transition method.
This is for the bold, the people who want to take the bull by the horns and are not afraid of making a statement. The big chop involves cutting off all your relaxed ends (in some cases, all your hair) and growing out your natural texture from scratch. When you take this step, you’re in effect saying goodbye to your hair for sometime while patiently waiting for natural hair texture to grow.
This method is for those who want to ease into the process of growing out your natural hair texture. It involves growing out your natural hair without cutting the relaxed ends. After some time, the relaxed ends are eventually cut off. I transitioned with the intention to cut off my relaxed ends after one year, but I cut them off after 6 months.
What products to use?
This is probably the most common question I get from ladies who are new naturalistas. I must admit, it’s hard not to be a product junkie when you first become natural but don’t worry, you’re not alone. When I first became natural almost 6 years ago, there were a few brands on the market and because I was eager, I probably tried just about everything I could get my hands on. These days, the decision about which products to use on your hair is even harder since there are so many products on the market.
Although there’s some level of experimentation that’s necessary when you’re newly natural. This is because you’re still getting to know your hair and how it reacts to different products, but you don’t have to try every single natural hair product available. Here are a few tips that could help with trying new products without becoming a product junkie or breaking the bank:
Use product reviews on YouTube:
Many naturalistas including myself review products online. My advice is to find someone with a hair texture that’s similar to yours and watch or read their reviews before making a purchase. By doing this, you can narrow down your options and get honest opinions about which products are effective vs. which ones are not.
Use product samples:
This is my number one tip for any beauty product in general. Beauty products and natural hair care products are not cheap. So instead of investing from the beginning, check the beauty supply store or any beauty shop like Ulta to see if they sell a smaller sample of the product that you can try first. If you like it, you can then purchase the full size version, which usually costs more money.
Get advice from other naturalistas you know personally:
Speak with other naturalistas that you know. Ask for their opinions on certain products and see if they can guide your decision making when trying to purchase products. There’s nothing like the advice of a trusted friend/family member.
How to maintain healthy hair?
When using a deep conditioner, I like to apply it in sections, cover my head with a shower cap and wrap my head with a towel and let it sit for sometime. This allows my body heat to open up the shaft of my hair, thereby allowing the product to absorb into my hair on a deeper level. Hence the name “deep conditioning” Doing this regularly does wonders for the health of your hair. I usually do this with every wash, usually every 2 weeks, but you can determine how often you need do this step.
Protective styles help to protect the ends of your hair. Braids, crochet, weaves etc. are all protective styles that can keep your hair protected from the natural elements like extreme cold, heat etc. Protective styles also prevent over manipulation of your hair, which can prevent breakage. The only caveat is you shouldn’t leave the protective style in for too long or have them in too tight because it can actually lead to breakage of your edges and your actual hair. Balance is key.
Sleep with a satin/silk scarf/pillow
Now this may seem trivial but it is actually important. Natural hair can be prone to dryness and sleeping on a cotton pillow case can cause the moisture in your hair to get absorbed by the pillow case. This causes it to be even more dry which can be problematic because dryness can lead to breakage. So sleeping with a satin/silk pillow case or hair bonnet can be protective because those materials don’t absorb moisture or oil in the way that cotton does. So it leaves the moisture on your hair, which promotes the health of your hair.
These are just a few tips to help you get started on your journey. Natural hair is beautiful and versatile. However, I understand that a lot of people may initially find it overwhelming. I hope these tips can help you get started in the right direction. For more resources, check out my natural hair related videos by clicking here. If you like this post and want more, subscribe here for my monthly newsletter. I promise, I won’t spam your inbox 🙂
What are your challenges with natural hair? Leave a comment below. I want to know how I can help!
Written by simplyfunmi